Forest Laboratories has kicked off the results season by posting higher-than-expected earnings and revenues for its fiscal third-quarter ended December 31.

Net income was $210.2 million, up 11.8%, while revenues increased 6.7% to $1. 06 billion, Sales of Forest’s flagship product Lexapro (escitalopram), the antidepressant licensed from Denmark’s Lundbeck. contributed $582.6 million, a 0.5% decrease year-on-year but a healthy result given competition from generics of other antidepressants.

Perhaps most impressive were sales of Namenda (memantine), Forest’s N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist for the treatment of moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease. They reached $282.5 million, up 17.3%.

Forest’s new antihypertensive Bystolic (nebivolol) brought in just under $47.5 million, up from $21.0 million in the like, year-earlier period, while Savella (milnacipran), a selective serotonin and norepinephrine dual reuptake inhibitor launched at the end of last April for the management of fibromyalgia, brought in $15.4 million.

Chief executive Howard Solomon said Forest was especially pleased with the growth of the latter two products “and also with our several pipeline developments in the quarter”. During that period, the company submitted a New Drug Application for the antibiotic ceftaroline and reported positive top-line results from two Phase III studies of linaclotide in patients with chronic constipation.

Mr Solomon noted that Forest recently hosted its first investor meeting to review its late-stage pipeline. Ten products either approved, or to be submitted to the FDA in the next few years, were reviewed and the company believes its portfolio will be strong enough to survive patent expiries over the next two to five years, notably on Lexapro.